Here’s the story,a recap of the Mumbai tragedy. But the headline of the TIME story is “Authorities Face Questions Over Siege.” Isn’t the main concern just now more about who did this and why, not questioning the authorities for doing their best? The last paragraph is about the damage to the Taj Hotel and whether it can be repaired. Hey, TIME: A few hundred people are dead and a nation is in mourning. You can do better than casting aspersions against the people who ended the siege and fretting over the damage to a hotel when there are still dead bodies inside. Typical. The downward slide continues at TIME.
Israel today is in a state of political disarray. Established political parties like the National Religious Party are dissolving. Other parties like Labor have become politically comatose. The ruling Kadima Party, formed by political opportunists from other parties, has no ideology apart from multiculturalism. This essentially anti-Jewish party wants to dissolve the State of Israel into “a state of its citizens.”
Today brought the terrible news that among the 195 killed and 295 wounded in terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, five Americans were murdered, including two Chabad rabbis and one of their wives, and a man from Virginia and his 13-year-old daughter on a yoga retreat. This blatant targeting of Americans and Jews in the wake of Americans’ election of the most liberal President-elect in U.S. history, with the enthusiastic support of most of the American Jewish community, should lay should lay to rest any misguided notion that George Bush or U.S. foreign policy are to blame for terrorists’ evil behavior.
During his mid-month visit to Denver, Yossi Klein Halevi also dropped by the Rocky to meet with the editorial board. I’m glad that I taped that meeting, since Halevi — a contributing editor at The New Republic, veteran journalist and author, and senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem — is a one-man road map, so to speak, for Americans trying to understand the political dynamic in the Middle East. The focus of our conversation, though, was Iran, and Halevi’s keen insight into the brewing conflict with the Islamic Republic is something that everyone should digest.
It’s time for my annual national thank you note. It’s called Thanksgiving for a reason, so let’s offer our gratitude to the following people, who have made life in America so much richer—and more interesting—this year.
As a commentator, I am torn as to whether to write about the atrocities in Mumbai, where FOX News puts the death toll at 127, because I know that terrorists stage acts of brutality precisely to get media coverage. As 24-hour news channels repeatedly publicize their evil acts, one could argue terrorism is being publicized and, in a way, granted greater potency.
The talk of a new al-qaeda attack on the US or our allies is like an alarm to the end of (for lack of a less dismissive term) recess. For those Democrats who have long insisted that the terror threat is not real, tonight must pose a frightening realization that they face significant and difficult work; at least, let us hope that is their reaction. Over the last four or more years, many Democrats have enjoyed the luxury of holding a position on the terror threat that is at once both easy in burden and persuasive in effect.
Al Qaeda Targets Amtrak N’east Corridor says the news. Impossible! I coulda swore that the Democrats told us this was all a product of Bush’s fevered imagination–a false pretense and an outright lie from which to snatch our rights and subvert the Constitution and make Hailiburton richer! If I were in charge of Homeland Security, I’d just laugh these silly reports off and proceed with turkey dinner. How can imaginary terrorists hurt anybody?
Hillary Clinton has been named Secretary of State. This will actually be good for national security. After all, that woman’s enemies have been known to disappear. It’ll also give a whole new meaning to the term Madam Secretary.
Here it is Thanksgiving again and as usual everyone will still be trying to figure out the best way to cook a turkey. You’d think by this time in our lives we would have figured it out, but since we only cook one a year, I suppose it’s only natural to forget. Do they even sell turkeys in July? I’ll have to check next summer.
Mullen told reporters on November 17 that that the withdrawal must be driven solely by conditions on the ground, and that the soonest all US forces could be safely withdrawn from Iraq is “two to three years.” (The next day Mullen indicated that he would carry out any directions from the new president once he takes office.) Officers like him need to be reminded of a basic lesson of democracy — that the military is there to carry out the civilian authority’s orders, not to publicly pressure the president to follow the Pentagon line.
Months (yes, months) of wrangling between treasury and Citigroup ended with treasury’s total capitulation. Citigroup was determined to get it’s share of the bailout pie and it did despite the failure of its initial attempt to camouflage the government bailout as a Citigroup rescue of Wachovia. When the treasury tried to balk Citi threatened to take on more debt!
Here’s a story from the NY Times about Vaclav Klaus. It describes him as a maverick and hints darkly that he is more provocateur than true intellectual, and a threat to both reputation and operation of the EU. The occasion of the bio piece is Klaus’s upcoming turn as head of the EU. The Times is not in the habit of poring over the intellect of the latest EU leader, or reporting in any great detail about the potential effect of each chief as his turn comes around… but this one believes in free markets, so he gets the hit piece. Typical.
The economic meltdown has consumed everyone’s attention: the sitting president, the incoming president, their teams, the media, and the public. The crisis is epic, the responses are, for the most part, bad, and nobody seems to know what they’re doing. Confidence at all levels is low and sliding. Multi-billion dollar bailout packages are delivered, while multi-billion dollar stimulus packages are debated. Money is everywhere, and it’s nowhere.
“Everybody’s trying to micromanage this economic trouble. If they’d just get out of the way and let the market handle it, yeah, there would be a lot of pain, but there’s going to be anyway.” — Rush Limbaugh
Here’s a report from Mark Steyn on his important–and now, successful–efforts against speech police in Canada. I’m the biggest cynic out there, so I never expected this kind of victory for free speech against the “What about MY feelings?”-Left. It’s worth keeping up with the details–I urge you to read it.
Last week Tom Friedman urged his readers to go shopping. This week he tells them to eschew restaurant food in favor of a home made tuna fish sandwich. In other words, Friedman suggests that it is time to panic. Why? Because the US is filled with W.M.D. called subprime mortgages. I beg to differ. Subprime mortgages are a problem but they are not the cause of the collapse. The collapse was caused by an OPEC generated precipitous rise in oil prices. Subprime mortgage buyers could no longer pay their mortgages because too much of their pay check had to go to pay for gasoline. Yes, I know, gas prices have since declined but not before Humpty Dumpty, the American consumer, was broken.